During this time of social distancing and reduced social interactions, 4-H members are not able to participate in the activities we are used to doing, such as: shows, meets, competitions, meetings and other social events. One of the projects that members can get involved in through 4-H is shooting sports. During this time, shooting sports members, surprisingly, can still engage in a variety of activities that will help support continued learning, improving technique and skills, and will continue to help us represent the sport we love. To add a little bit of humor in this time, I decided to organize the activities using the acronym C.O.V.I.D.
Communication: Whether it be keeping up with your teammates and coaches, talking with coordinators of competitions, or getting in touch with your local extension agent, communication is a vital part of shooting sports. Communication can take place through phone calls, emails or text messages. Social media is also a great way to advocate and communicate.
Organization: This time off can be used to organize competition bags and gun safes. Cleaning guns and other equipment is also a vital part of shooting sports and can easily be achieved at home. These activities will help make sure everything is in order for the next competition — which we hope is sooner than later!
Vocalization: One of the most important parts of shooting sports is spreading awareness. One of our main goals as shooting athletes and shooting sports team members is to spread the word of the sport to pass it on to future members. This can be done by getting in touch with advocacy organizations, such as the NRA, or publishing newsletters or articles about the sport.
Investigation: Another idea is to use your time to study for events, engage in research regarding equipment and watch videos to investigate techniques and skills that can be useful during your next practice and/or competition.
Demonstration: Demonstrating skills necessary in shooting sports to the entry-level audience can help prepare them for their shooting sports journey. Whether it be a YouTube video explaining gun safety in detail, a Twitter post teaching shooters about involvement within the sport, or a slideshow teaching animal identification, sharing information is an activity any of us can participate in.
Along with these many opportunities, this time can also be used to practice. There is no better time to become a better shooter than right now!
If you have any questions regarding the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports program or just want to discuss technique or ideas, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.